Geological Scintillator from “The Cage”

For the most part, I spend my time worrying about props that we are likely to use in one of our productions.  So this means trying to find things we’d likely see around the Enterprise.  I try not to be too interested in props that would see little use; these things can get expensive and we have a limited budget.  But once in a while, something nice comes along that’s just too good to pass up–even if it’s not likely to be used.

With that as a set-up, there was a prop that we saw just once–‘way back in the first pilot episode “The Cage.”  We see that the  Geologist (that’s what this guy is called in the script: “Geologist”–played by Ed Madden) has some kind of device slung over his shoulder.  Some Old Timers might recognize the device as a 1950’s-era “scintillator” (Geiger counter/radiation detector).

We never get a really good look at it.  But here’s a shot from the transporter room before the landing party beams down:

Geology Scintillator

Once they get down to the surface, you get a few more angles of this thing:

Geology ScintillatorGeology ScintillatorGeology Scintillator

It turns out that, specifically, this devices is a “Scintillator Model 111 Portable Scintillation Counter.”  It was produced by Precision Radiation Instruments, Inc. of Los Angeles, California in 1954.  Once in a blue moon, these things come up for auction on ebay.  (In fact, some folks might remember when one of these showed up on the reality T.V. show Pawn Stars not long ago.)
So here are some shots of my recently-acquired “Scintillator Model 111 Portable Scintillation Counter:”
Star Trek Phase II Vintage Scintillator Model 111Geology ScinitillatorGeology ScintillatorGeology ScintillatorGeology Scintillator

The scanner itself snaps onto the battery case.  It, of course, unsnaps, too:

Geology ScintillatorGeology ScintillatorGeology Scintillator


I don’t know if this old “Cage”-era device is still in use on board the Kirk-era Enterprise.  Similarly, I don’t know when or if we might see this thing in one of our productions.

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About Gregory L. Schnitzer

Gregory L. Schnitzer is Co-Executive Producer on the fan-based Internet series Star Trek Phase II (formerly known as Star Trek New Voyages). Greg is a Registered Nurse and is generally in charge of Emergency Medical Services at the Star Trek Phase II shoots. He also generally serves as the production's Property Master and on-again, off-again Set Decorator. Born and raised in the beautiful but smoggy San Fernando Valley (which he still calls "home"), in real life, Greg is a Registered Nurse and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and currently works in the field of Health Information Management at various facilities and in various capacities in the Washington, D.C., greater metropolitan region.